The latest on the Patriots’ quarterback carousel
When it comes to the New England Patriots’ quarterback situation, everything appears to be the table for Bill Belichick in what’s a dire, must-win Week 6 showdown with the Las Vegas Raiders.
The Insiders on @NFLGameDay Kickoff: #Vikings WR Justin Jefferson will be reevaluated after 4 weeks with hopes he returns around then; #Patriots QB Mac Jones will have a short leash; #Giants RB Saquon Barkley is looking good to play, Daniel Jones has a real chance for next week. pic.twitter.com/u5PVVVVQFY— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 15, 2023
Now, the Patriots have already said that the embattled Mac Jones will remain under center for this game. But that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s the guy for all four quarters, and it may not take until the game is well out of reach for the Patriots, according to the latest update from NFL insider Ian Rapoport.
“For the New England Patriots, Mac Jones will once again start at quarterback, but my understanding is he is going to have a short leash today,” Rapoport said Sunday. “In fact, a couple of rough series and the Patriots may make a change.
“It’s been the worst two-game stretch of Jones’ young career. He did not finish either game. Patience is wearing thin.”
If Jones is pulled for the third week in a row, the natural belief would be that Bailey Zappe would step into the game and become New England’s de facto starting quarterback. But in a bit of a surprise, Rapoport pushed back on that notion.
Rapoport cited the work of third-string quarterback Will Grier, and noted that Grier is ‘pushing to learn the offense’ for the Patriots. The Patriots signed Grier off the Bengals’ practice squad back on Sept. 22.
And in another surprising update, at least based on how things looked entering the weekend, Rapoport noted have a ‘package of plays’ for the freshly-signed Malik Cunningham and that the expectation is that the Pats use them.
The 25-year-old Jones is coming off the two worst performances of his career, with a for 150 yards with three turnovers against the Cowboys back on Oct. 1, and a (somehow) even worse 12-for-22 for 110 yards and another three turnovers in last week’s blowout loss to the Saints.